Pakistan grants exploration licenses for 10 blocks: energy minister

KARACHI: PTI government has granted licenses for 10 exploration blocks to expedite exploration activities, Federal Energy Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Friday at Karachi airport.

Replacing reserves and maintaining oil and gas production has remained a serious challenge for the domestic oil and gas industry.

New value is created only through exploration, which is the starting point of petroleum value chain. Organic growth costs two to four times less than buying reserves or importing oil and gas.
Imported crude and refined petroleum products make 82-83 percent of Pakistan’s total consumption. Domestic crude oil production (89kbo/d) is 33 percent of the total crude used (93MMbo).

Imported gas (200bcf LNG in FY2018) is 15 percent of indigenous gas production. Pakistan paid $4.3 billion for the crude oil imports and over $2 billion for gas (LNG) in FY2018.[the_ad id=”32940″]”We have identified several blocks in Balochistan and government is working on a plan to start supply from these blocks into the system,” the minister said.

Khan informed that Prime Minister had advised him to meet governors of all the provinces to deliberate on gas shortage issue.

“The gas supply issues would be solved in the Council of Common Interests (CCI), and no province would be deprived of its right,” minister said.

He said previous governments had destroyed the national economy and left piles of debts. “The flawed policies in past incentivised imports, while exports kept declining.

Admitting supply shortage in Karachi, he said a deficit of Rs157 billion had adversely affected supply management capacity of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

“Supply shortage is not the problem of Karachi alone, but several cities including Islamabad are having gas crisis as the country’s demand has out-paced the supply.”

The minister said PTI government would announce Karachi package soon adding Pakistan Steel Mill would also be restarted.

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